Practice – Striking out. The application of the CPR Pt 20 defendants to strike out the defendant companies' CPR Pt 20 claim against them succeeded, in a dispute concerning the acquisition of companies from the first defendant by the claimant company. The Commercial Court held that the CPR Pt 20 claim was an abuse of the declaratory form of relief and the proper course was to strike it out in its entirety.
Land – Title. Neither of the surviving competitors in the proceedings had established such title in respect of a tract of land on the island of Eleuthera as ought to be reflected in a certificate granted under the Quieting Titles Act 1959. Accordingly, the Privy Council allowed the appellant's appeal insofar as the respondent's petition for the grant of certificate of title would be dismissed.
Trade mark – Mark. The appeal of the appellant company, Cadbury, against a finding of the Registrar of Trade Marks, failed. Cadbury had sought to delete one of two specifications in a mark that it owned, concerning the use of the colour purple in its chocolate products. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division held that the mark did not consist of a series of marks, and that it was not a permissible registration of more than one mark within a single registration.
Husband wife – Separation. In a case relating to two parties of Italian origin, who were married, but separated, the English court, despite being the court second seized, had jurisdiction in relation to a school fees order, child maintenance and the sale of a London property. Accordingly, the Family Division dismissed the applicant husband's appeals against, among other things, a ruling refusing a stay of the respondent wife's application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 for the sale of a London property.
National Health Service – Duty to provide healthcare services. The Secretary of State had not been in breach of any public law duty in forming the view that what was necessary to meet all reasonable requirements for the allocation of kidney organs for the purpose of transplantation was an allocation which prioritised persons ordinarily resident in England over those not ordinarily resident. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, affirmed the Divisional Court's decision, dismissing the application for judicial review by the claimant Ghanaian national who suffered from end-stage kidney disease of para 4 of the NHS Blood and Transplant (Gwaed a Thrawsblaniadau'r GIG) (England) Directions 2005.
National Health Service – Charges. The defendant Secretary of State was not required to consult publicly before amending the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Amendment Regulations 2017, SI 2017/756, and imposing a requirement that advance payment for treatment be made, or requiring that records be kept of chargeable individuals. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the claimant's application for judicial review, further held that the Secretary of State had complied with his duties under s 149 of the Equality Act 2010 Act and the National Health Service Act 2006.
Contract – Construction. The appeal concerned the true construction of the indemnity provisions in a share sale agreement, which provided for the sale of the entire share capital of a company that provided financial advice to retail customers. The defendants (the indemnifying parties) had argued that the claimants had not complied with the requirements for giving notice of their indemnity claim. The dispute concerned the requirement (in the agreement) for notice to be given 'specifying the details and circumstances giving rise to the Claims or Claims and an estimate in good faith of the total amount of such Claim or Claims' (the bracketed words). The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, ruled, among other things, that the word 'Claim' in the bracketed words did not extend to an indemnity claim, as the defendants had contended. Accordingly, the court dismissed their appeal against the dismissal of their application for summary judgment on the claimants' indemnity claim, which arose out of two reviews required by the Financial Conduct Authority under s 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Financial services – Financial Conduct Authority. Pursuant to its power under r 5(5) of the Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008, SI 2008/2698, the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber)(the tribunal) was not obliged to grant the suspension of a decision in respect of which a reference had been made if it was satisfied that to do so would not prejudice the interests of consumers. It was necessary for the tribunal to carry out a balancing exercise in light of all relevant factors and decide whether in all the circumstances it was in the interests of justice to grant the application. Consequently, the tribunal dismissed the applicant company's application to suspend the variation by the Financial Conduct Authority of the permission it had granted to the applicant in relation to its right to exercise lender's rights and duties under regulated credit agreements.
Coroner – Inquest. The defendant coroner in the inquest into the death of Poppi Worthington had not erred in law in including references to anal penetrationin the section of his review which concerned conclusion as to death and in his record of inquest. The Divisional Court, in dismissing her father's application for judicial review, held that the coroner's review had been exemplary, he had considered and analysed the evidence with particular care, and made findings of fact which were unchallengeable.
European Union – 'Brexit'. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) had to be interpreted as meaning that, where a member state had notified the European Council, in accordance with that article, of its intention to withdraw from the EU, that article allowed that member state - for as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between that member state and the EU had not entered into force or, if no such agreement had been concluded, for as long as the two-year period laid down in art 50(3), possibly extended in accordance with that paragraph, had not expired - to revoke that notification unilaterally, in an unequivocal and unconditional manner, by a notice addressed to the European Council in writing, after the member state concerned had taken the revocation decision in accordance with its constitutional requirements. The Court of Justice of the European Union so ruled in a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of art 50 TEU in proceedings regarding the possibility of unilaterally revoking the notification of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU.
Loan – Loan agreement. The claimants' claim succeeded, in a dispute concerning the purchase of property. The claimants alleged that they had loaned £477,522 to the defendants in order to facilitate the purchase, and sought the return of that sum. The Chancery Division held that the claimants' payment had not been made in satisfaction of debts that the claimants' family had owed to the defendants.
Family proceedings – Orders in family proceedings. The wife's application for a property adjustment order was dismissed, as the husband did not own a share of the beneficial interest in the former matrimonial home, but a post-nuptial settlement was varied to provide the wife and the children with a licence to occupy that property terminable on six months' notice. The Family Court further made an order for nominal spousal maintenance and for child periodical payments in the sum of £4,000 per annum per child.
Immigration – Entry clearance. For the purposes of para 320(7B)(d) of the Immigration Rules, submitting a false document would only be deception if the applicant submitted the document knowing that it was false and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) had erred in its conclusion that it did not matter if it had been the dishonesty of the applicant or a third party. However, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that it had been patently open to the Secretary of State to conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that the appellant had knowingly submitted false documents.
Sentence – Custodial sentence. The defendants' contention, that an immediate custodial sentence was never appropriate for a non-violent crime committed as part of peaceful protest as a matter of domestic law and would breach art 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, was rejected. However, the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in allowing their appeals, held that an immediate custodial sentence for public nuisance had been manifestly excessive and, given they had served a sentence equivalent to six weeks, a conditional discharge for two years was appropriate.
Divorce – Petition. Decree nisi would be pronounced on the wife's petition for divorce on the basis of the husband's admitted adultery, rather than on the husband's petition based on the wife's behaviour which he said was unreasonable for him to be expected to live with. The Family Court found overwhelming evidence that the husband had been committing adultery for over twenty years, unknown to the wife until 8 May 2017, but the wife had not behaved in the way alleged by the husband.
European Union – Equal treatment in employment. European Union law, in particular the principle of primacy of EU law, should be interpreted as precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, under which a national body established by law in order to ensure enforcement of EU law in a particular area lacked jurisdiction to decide to disapply a rule of national law that was contrary to EU law. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in proceedings concerning the jurisdiction of the Workplace Relations Commission (Ireland) to decide to disapply provisions of national law that were contrary to EU law.
Capital gains tax – Exemptions and reliefs. The taxpayer's residence in the property did not have sufficient 'quality' for the property to qualify as an 'only or main residence' for the purposes of principal private residence (PPR) relief pursuant to s 222 of the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992. Accordingly, the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) dismissed the taxpayer's appeal against the Revenue and Customs Commissioners' decision not to grant him PPR and lettings relief.
Bankruptcy – Trustee in bankruptcy. The appellant bankrupt unsuccessfully appealed against the dismissal of his application under r 18.35 of the Insolvency Rules (England and Wales) 2016, SI 2016/1024, which allowed a bankrupt, with the permission of the court, to make an application on the grounds that the remuneration or expenses charged by a trustee were excessive. The liabilities of the bankrupt's estate were relatively modest, around £16,622 in total. However, the total amount required to discharged the liabilities, including the trustee's costs, among others, was around £285,089. The Chancery Division ruled that the deputy district judge of the county court had not erred in considering that the question to be asked on the application was whether the appellant could show that the trustee's costs could be reduced below the net realisation figure of £98,000, and in concluding that that was not likely. The deputy district judge had not erred in exercising his discretion by dismissing the application for permission. In so ruling, the court considered the relevant test for granting permission under r 18.35.
Divorce – Financial provision. On the basis that the financial arrangements embodied in an Egyptian divorce agreement were not the subject of a formal order in the Egyptian divorce proceedings, the future security of the parties' child, A (and that of the applicant wife as his primary carer) required an order for financial relief to be made under the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, Pt 3. The Family Division so ruled, and, among other things, ordered that the wife's occupation of a flat in London, that was part owned by the first respondent husband, be extended until A was 18 years old, or until he had completed his secondary education.
Immunity – State immunity. The appellant company's appeal failed. The Privy Council held that certain shares were not immune from any process of enforcement under the State Immunity Act 1978 as extended to Jersey by the State Immunity (Jersey) Order, 1985 (the SIA 1978). The application of s 13(2)(b) of the Act turned on the straightforward question of whether the property against which enforcement was sought was property of a state. In the present case, all that was relied on was mere control, which was not property in that sense.